A team of scientists spent 2.5 years traveling the oceans, over 70,000 miles, and came back with a startling discovery. There was once thought to be 30,000 species of plankton but they discovered more than 2 million species. The diversity, and strangeness, is astounding. One species combines together to form a chain 40 meters long while another forms symbiotic colonies, living within each other.
The largest-ever experiment in space has reported the collection of some 18 billion “cosmic ray” events that may help unravel the Universe’s mysteries.
Run from a centre at Cern, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) aims to spot dark matter and exotic antimatter.
At the heart of the seven-tonne, $2bn machine is a giant, specially designed magnet which bends the paths of extraordinarily high-energy charged particles called cosmic rays onto a series of detectors, giving hints of what the particles are.
A series of ever-larger particle accelerators built here on Earth aim to drive particles to ever-higher energies, smashing them into one another to simulate the same processes that create them elsewhere in the cosmos.
But no Earth-bound experiment can match nature’s power as a particle accelerator – and Earth’s atmosphere absorbs incoming cosmic rays – so the AMS will catch some of these high-energy particles “from the source”, as a kind of complement to the likes of the Large Hadron Collider.
Do you earn more or less than the world’s average wage?
World average monthly wage: $1,480
Luxembourg – $4,089
United States – $3,263
Canada – $2,724
Germany – $2,720
China – $656
The average wage, calculated by the International Labour Organization, is published here for the first time. It’s a rough figure based on data from 72 countries, omitting some of the world’s poorest nations. All figures are adjusted to reflect variations in the cost of living from one country to another, and as Ruth Alexander of BBC radio’s More or Less programme underlines, it’s all about wage earners, not the self-employed or people on benefits.
The dynamic, if dysfunctional duo of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch, War Horse) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman, The Hobbit), battles the worst of 21st- century London, including a tech savvy arch-villain who wants to rule the world and a hound from the hinges of Hell.
NBC has partnered with YouTube to provide its video player and livestreaming infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Part of its strategy is to broadcast every live event in some form, showing more than 3,600 hours of Olympic coverage…using (the YouTube) player to deliver livestreams on NBCOlympics.com.
“We’ll also include replays of Web-exclusive events, all television broadcasts, interviews with the athletes and exclusive daily segments about London 2012. Live streams will be available across our mobile platforms, providing an extraordinary 360-degree coverage of The Games.”
The rights are shared across the world, in the UK the BBC has gained access to The Games and will deliver live coverage via television broadcasts but also online via its website and iPlayer service.
In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.
It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.
In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
His book unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern…(which) describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
“It’s not just the number of references – it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge,” Ekirch says.
“Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning.” – Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote (1615)